Construction of a Fareway Meat Market at 2716 Beaver Ave. in Des Moines is expected to begin this year after the City Council today approved the site plan for the development. Architectural rendering by Simonson & Associates Architects LLC

A proposal to build a Fareway Meat Market in Des Moines’ Beaverdale neighborhood overcame a final hurdle today when the City Council approved the development’s site plan, reversing the Plan and Zoning Commission’s denial of the plan.

“We’ve seen excitement [for the development] just explode in Beaverdale,” said council member Bill Gray, who represents the area. “It’s exciting to see the work that’s gone in so far to get something in [the neighborhood] that will be a tremendous magnet for Beaverdale businesses.”

The project, proposed at 2716 Beaver Ave., has been contentious since it became public that the Boone-based grocery chain planned to raze a house at 2723 41st Place to allow more parking for the store and improve traffic flow.

The parking lot includes a driveway on both 41st Place and Urbandale Avenue. Neighbors were sour to the idea of having more traffic on the residential 41st Place street. The zoning commission rejected the plan earlier this spring. But after Fareway made changes, the plan was approved by the council.

In June, the zoning commission rejected Fareway’s design of the 7,800-square-foot building planned for the southwest corner of Beaver and Urbandale avenues where a vacant branch bank building now stands. The store was proposed to have just one entrance rather than at least two as city zoning standards require. In addition, concerns were raised that the building wasn’t compatible with other commercial buildings in the Beaverdale neighborhood.

Fareway, after its officials met with those of the city, agreed to replace nontransparent spandrel glass windows with red and ornamental brick to better “accommodate the ‘Beaverdale’ neighborhood feel,” according to a letter to the city from Fareway. It also added elevated windows on the sides of the building that front Beaver and Urbandale avenues.

The grocer also made changes to the entrance of the store, giving it a more urban feel, according to the letter.

However, the grocer was adamant that it would not add another entrance to the building because of security and liability issues. In addition, “another entrance reduces our operational footprint, because we would have to remove trade fixtures, and further diminishes the functionality of an already difficult development site,” Koby Pritchard, attorney and real estate manager for Fareway, wrote in the letter to the city.

The council, on a 6-0 vote today, approved the site plan and building design for the store. Mayor Frank Cownie was absent.

After the meeting, Garrett Piklapp, Fareway’s executive vice president, said the grocer has been considering building a store in the Beaverdale neighborhood for more than a decade.

“We’ve worked through a lot of issues and the process has done exactly what it’s supposed to do – provide full transparency to the neighborhood and give people a chance to have input,” he said.

Piklapp said the former bank building will be demolished in the coming weeks. Construction of the store will begin after the debris is removed from the site, he said.

According to the letter to the city from Pritchard, building materials have been ordered for the project, bids awarded and contractors scheduled.

The new store is expected to open in 2022, Piklapp said.